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Old 23-07-2012, 21:10   #1
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Lost Pencil Zn in Heat Exchanger

Guys any advice will keep me sleeping nights.

I lost a newly installed pencil zn inside the heat exchanger. Do I have to remove the zn or I can just install another one and use the engine.

H/E replaced every 3 months.

Thanks.
Len
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Old 23-07-2012, 22:47   #2
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Re: Lost Pencil Zn in Heat Exchanger

If your zinc is in the raw water part of the system and it is 100% zinc it is probably ok to leave it, but if it has some other metal on it, and it probably does, you should remove it. If it is in the freshwater side of the system definitely remove it. You should renew your coolant and clean your heat exchanger every two years - this is a good reason to do that now. (Remember to close your raw water seacock first!) And while you are at it, remove your mixing elbow and clean and inspect that, which should also be done every two years.
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Old 24-07-2012, 05:43   #3
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Re: Lost Pencil Zn in Heat Exchanger

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Len.

You REPLACE your Heat Exchanger every 3 months?
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Old 24-07-2012, 06:52   #4
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Re: Lost Pencil Zn in Heat Exchanger

While on heat exchangers ,I,have heard that replacement is necessary every so often,I,have always removed and cleaned every 3 to 5 years and never replaced,have suffered no ill efects ,So why replace?
Thanks for the input Forgot,have had zinc particles on the raw water side clog the flow,definately remove and clean .
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Old 24-07-2012, 06:54   #5
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Re: Lost Pencil Zn in Heat Exchanger

If the zinc is lying on the copper coils it may cause enough corrosion to eat through them. Pop the end off the exchanger and fish it out.
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Old 24-07-2012, 07:00   #6
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Re: Lost Pencil Zn in Heat Exchanger

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tingum View Post
If the zinc is lying on the copper coils it may cause enough corrosion to eat through them. Pop the end off the exchanger and fish it out.
A quick look on the periodic table should prove that incorrect. Personally if the zinc were accessible easily, I'd remove it; there is a small chance it could block a water passage. If it's not easy to remove, install new and go back to sleep at night.

In normal service, pieces of zinc slough off and circulate through and out the cooling system..... as will the lost one.
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Old 24-07-2012, 08:32   #7
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Re: Lost Pencil Zn in Heat Exchanger

Check out MainSail's article on cleaning a heat exchanger.

Autopsy A Westerbeke / Universal Marine Heat Exchanger Photo Gallery by Compass Marine at pbase.com
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Old 24-07-2012, 09:52   #8
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Re: Lost Pencil Zn in Heat Exchanger

Thanks Guys, will definitely sleep well tonight.

Len

P/s typo only replace Zn NOT H/E
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Old 24-07-2012, 10:06   #9
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Re: Lost Pencil Zn in Heat Exchanger

Len,
Life is too short to worry and lose sleep over my friend.. there are probably other Zincs in there. ;-) ... no worries...
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Old 24-07-2012, 17:06   #10
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Re: Lost Pencil Zn in Heat Exchanger

Len is happy, but I've got questions. My engine is the only one I know intimately and it doesn't have any zincs, so I know close to less than nothing.

Seems anodic protection would only be needed in the raw (salt) water side of the system - do any engines have anodes in the fresh water (coolant) part of the system?

If an engine has zincs and it is used in fresh water (lakes and rivers) are zincs still necessary? (Would you use aluminum or magnesium anodes instead?)

For my engine the heat exchanger is the last part of the system before the mixing elbow; the anode and its subsequent bits would reduce water flow in the tubestack until they dissolved, but, 1) being a sailboat we only use our engine for going in and out of the slip so no big, and 2) we know the zinc is in there reducing cooling water flow so we keep our engine use to a min. Right? Are there engines where the heat exchanger and its anode are before things like the oil and transmission coolers?

Correct, the zinc will not affect the copper tube stack, but if the heat exchanger has an aluminum housing, as mine does, zinc contact with the aluminum housing would *not* be good, as the aluminum will protect the zinc, which may be why my heat exchanger does not have an anode.

Also, I assume a pencil zinc has some sort of SS or Chinese Mystery Metal on it to attach it to the heat exchanger, probably not a good idea to leave this in contact with ANY part of the heat exchanger.

DeepFrz - thank you for MaineCruising's link to the Westerbeke heat exchanger - I hadn't looked at that before and ... yeah - remove the lost pencil zinc!
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Old 25-07-2012, 11:19   #11
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Re: Lost Pencil Zn in Heat Exchanger

Thanks Guys will try fishing it out. 2 inch space to side and down!!! Probably unsuccessful.
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Old 25-07-2012, 11:49   #12
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Re: Lost Pencil Zn in Heat Exchanger

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShipShape View Post

Correct, the zinc will not affect the copper tube stack, but if the heat exchanger has an aluminum housing, as mine does, zinc contact with the aluminum housing would *not* be good, as the aluminum will protect the zinc, which may be why my heat exchanger does not have an anode.
The zinc will corrode rather than the aluminim. The zinc should if anything protect the aluminium.
In practice in fresh water zinc develops a coating which is not very conductive, but I cannot see how it would damage anything.

I think beta engines have a zinc that is difficult to remove and the owners simply knock them inside.
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Old 25-07-2012, 16:17   #13
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Re: Lost Pencil Zn in Heat Exchanger

It isn't a real problem....unless you are having short interval between changes....they may be telling you that smething is wrong....the possiblities are many
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